BMO Joins in Earth Hour for Third Year in a Row

Offices across North America to turn out the lights on Saturday, March 27

TORONTO, March 18 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group will once again join hundreds of thousands of people and organizations around the world by participating in Earth Hour. On Saturday, March 27, BMO will turn off lights in its offices across Canada and the United States between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. local time to show its support for the global stand against climate change.

"At BMO, we are proud to join with people and organizations across the globe once again and support Earth Hour," said Jim Johnston, Director, Environmental Sustainability, BMO Financial Group. "At our main offices and in other major facilities across North America, in cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Chicago and New York, internal lighting will be kept to a minimum and our exterior signage will be turned off. In leased premises we are working closely with property managers on both sides of the border to encourage their participation.

"BMO aims to be a leader in promoting environmental sustainability," noted Johnston. "Simply put, we believe that the sustainability of our shared environment is inextricably tied to the long-term sustainability of our business and our world. Participating in Earth Hour is just one of many initiatives we support to show this leadership."

Anyone who plans to participate in Earth Hour can register their commitment, as BMO has done, at www.earthhour.org.

For security reasons, BMO branches and ABMs will not be included in Earth Hour.

BMO and the Environment:

BMO is targeting to be carbon neutral relative to energy consumption and transportation emissions in 2010. We are doing this by: targeting emissions reductions; purchasing renewable energy; and using carbon offsets for the remainder.

BMO is one of the initial investors in the Greening Canada Fund, the first-ever voluntary carbon emissions reduction fund aimed exclusively at large Canadian corporations. The Fund will purchase and deliver carbon offset credits from across Canada for its investors. BMO's initial investment in the fund is $10 million.

BMO is a long-time signatory and respondent to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP); it is also one of the highest-scoring companies in the world and the only Canadian bank in the CDP's Global 500 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index for 2009. This is the second year in a row that BMO has been included on this prestigious list. Additionally, CDP's Canadian partner, The Conference Board of Canada, has also recognized BMO as a 2009 Canada 200 Climate Disclosure Leader.

BMO is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Series Index. BMO is also included on the 2009 Jantzi/Maclean's list of the 50 Most Responsible Corporations in Canada and has appeared on Corporate Knights Magazine's Best 50 Corporate Citizens list every year since 2003.

BMO is a leader in reducing its non-renewable energy consumption. BMO purchases over 23,800 megawatt hours of emission-free electricity annually from Bullfrog Power, a green electricity retailer that markets energy from clean, renewable sources like wind power and low-impact water power, making BMO a leading purchaser of electricity among financial institutions from the company. This is enough renewable energy to power 160 BMO branches and office locations across Canada.

To help customers, investors, employees and other interested parties make sense of it all; BMO's Corporate Responsibility website has a section devoted to addressing climate change (www.bmo.com/environment). The site provides one of the most complete compilations of corporate performance data among its peers.

SOURCE BMO BANK OF MONTREAL

For further information: For further information: For News Media Enquiries: Peter Scott, Toronto, PeterE.Scott@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996; Ronald Monet, Montreal, ronald.monet@bmo.com, (514) 877-1873; Jim Kappel, Chicago, jim.kappel@harrisbank.com, (312) 461-2478


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